Why 2016 Will Be the Year for Wind Energy: Ecotech Institute's Auston Van Slyke Explains

Why 2016 Will Be the Year for Wind Energy

The outlook for renewable energy in the next few years is an exciting one; and one sector in particular is gearing up for a huge year in 2016: wind energy.

Why should you keep an eye on wind energy?

Unprecedented Growth

The United States is currently in the middle of a wind rush set to continue until midnight on the last day of 2016. Need proof? There is more wind farms under construction right now in Texas than the rest of the country has built in the last 20 years. Additionally, the wind industry is set to grow at record speeds in much of the world.

Thanks to a developed supply chain and a boost in manufacturing, more wind power is added to the grid each year than any other power source. Simply put: more wind farms equal more energy production.

Politics at Play

The wind energy industry is heavily influenced by what goes on in Washington. Ever-changing policies make projecting what will happen in the industry beyond 2017 a mystery.

However, we do know that 2016 will be the last push before the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) expires. This means there will be a massive push for construction and commissioning of wind farms in the coming year. For example, Vestas and GE have already announced big wind turbine sales in 2016 all over the United States and they will have to get those wind farms built by the end of next year to qualify for the tax breaks.

Cheap Oil is Our Friend

There is always concern about the potentially negative impacts of low oil prices on the wind energy industry. However, lower oil prices actually help the growth of wind power because cheaper oil effectively reduces construction costs. Even when construction takes a downturn in 2017 after the PTC expires, maintenance will be ramping up to take its place.

Predicting the future is never a certainty, but all signs point towards a massive 2016 for wind energy. At Ecotech Institute, we are fully prepared to capitalize on this growth.

Whether staying up date on the latest technologies and trends or continuing to maintain our 80 percent job placement rate, Ecotech Institute consistently aims to provide our students with bright career paths in sustainable sectors like wind energy.

Auston Van Slyke is the Wind Energy Technology program director at Ecotech Institute.

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